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Meet Our Staff

Mathew Shaw, Registered OT - Certified Hand Therapist - Clinic Owner

Mat completed his BA in kinesiology and his BSc in Occupational Therapy at the University of Western Ontario in 1991. He became certified as a hand therapist after opening his clinic, the Hand-Upper Limb Clinic. His passion for all things related to hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders continues even today after almost 30 years of practice. He is also a consultant for Big Thunder Orthopedic Associates, assessing those injured workers with upper extremity injuries. He was a co-investigator/ developer of the Shoulder School which is a pre-operative program to teach people how to best manage their surgical shoulders. He has been asked to lecture surgical residents at the annual Principles of Plastic Surgery (POPS), mentors students,  and has taught splinting techniques to different groups of OT’s over the years.

His proudest achievements however, are his kids, who have now grown to be kind,  interesting, and productive young people in their own right (probably thanks to their mother!). His interests include an unhealthy following of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Blue Jays (he saw game 5 of the 1992 World Series), and he enjoys hiking, biking, Sup’ing, and playing scrub hockey.

Matthew Eaton, Physiotherapist

Matt Eaton has been a physiotherapist specializing in hand and upper limb injuries and conditions for over 7 years, now. He completed his education at Queen’s University and is widely considered to be the foremost physiotherapist working in this exclusive field. When he is not at work, Matt enjoys running, hockey, and soccer (he attended the World Cup in Brazil). Matt also enjoys hiking, biking, and generally anything outdoors. As a valuable member of the HULC staff, he is involved in all facets of treatment and care: splinting, wound care, manual therapy, education (Matt teaches the Shoulder School for pre-op patients), and exercise prescription. 

Tyler Anton, Occupational Therapist

Tyler graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology degree at Lakehead University where he then completed his Masters of Occupational Therapy with a focus in Indigenous Peoples of Canada at the University of Alberta. He worked in Edmonton with Chrysalis: An Albertan Society for Individuals with Disabilities as well as the Yellowhead Tribal Council as the community Occupational Therapist prior to joining the HULC team. Tyler is passionate and driven about hand therapy and enjoys helping people get back to doing what they need and want to do. Tyler played for Lakehead Thunderwolves and has since focused on coaching and giving back to the hockey community. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys fishing, golf, and hockey. 

Vanessa Trieu, Physiotherapy Resident

Vanessa completed her Master of Physical Therapy from Western University in 2022. Prior to graduation, she completed her senior placement at the Hand and Upper Limb Clinic. She enjoyed the collaborative team environment so much, she moved from Toronto to Thunder Bay. Vanessa loves connecting with people to create a rehab plan that fits into their lives and helps them return to doing what they love.

Vanessa uses a person-centered approach to care that may include education about their condition, exercise therapy, strategies for pain management, manual therapy, and a healthy dose of positivity and enthusiasm.

Outside of the clinic, she enjoys spending quality time with loved ones, strength training, and learning about new things.

Allison Walter, Rehab Care Representative

Allison has worked in the rehabilitation field for 18 years. She studied sports management in Ottawa and worked both in Ottawa and Arnprior prior to moving back to Thunder Bay where she joined the Hand and Upper Limb Clinic team.  She is passionate about helping people and it truly shows in her work. When Allison is away from the clinic she enjoys: walking her two Vizsla’s, running marathons, travelling, and spending time with her family whenever she can. Allison is widely known for making all patients of the clinic feel welcomed.

Cordie Stark, Rehabilitation Assistant

As a rehabilitation assistant at the Hand and Upper Limb Clinic, Cordie Stark enjoys helping people of all ages to overcome injury, illness or disability. Cordie also instructs a Hydrotherapy shoulder program to assist our patients with their rehabilitation and recovery. Cordie joined the HULC team in 2015 after a long career in Security. Cordie worked for many years at Hemlo Gold Mines ( in Manitouwadge) and Bowater Pulp and Paper Mill ( in Thunder Bay). Cordie‘s interest in the medical field led her to pursue additional post-secondary qualifications and, in 2000, she completed the Emergency Medical Care Attendant Program at Confederation College. Cordie is a dedicated mom to her son Lucas, and she has a passion for hockey, swimming, biking and running. Over the years Cordie has completed in multiple marathons as well as a Half Ironman and a Full Ironman competition. Cordie‘s bright smile and friendly demeanor brightens our clinic on a daily basis.

Frank Avella, Kinesiologist

Frank was born and raised in Thunder Bay where he attended Lakehead University and completed an Honours Bachelor in Kinesiology in 2021. Frank is passionate about fitness and health and he is thrilled to be able to provide Kinesiology services to those in Northwestern Ontario through our Specialty Treatment program. Frank is a Registered Kinesiologist with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario and is a member of the Ontario Kinesiology Association. He is excited to continue to learn and provide care to the community amongst the rest of the amazing team at the Hand and Upper Limb Clinic.

In his spare time he enjoys basketball, weight lifting, camping, music, and spending time with friends.

Jodi Bragnalo, Front Desk Reception

Jodi Bragnalo is one of the faces you will see at the front desk Monday- Friday. She has been employed at The Hand and Upper Limb Clinic since the spring of 2019. Working here has given her the opportunity to meet many great people. She also notes that she loves the staff at the clinic and that “they make everyday a good day”.

“Being a part of the team at the hand and upper limb clinic has been an incredible experience for me and I am very proud to be a part of such a caring and compassionate group of professionals who’s number one priority is the well-being of its patients”. Jodi considers being a part of what the clinic does to help people as truly wonderful and loves working alongside such knowledgeable, friendly, courteous and caring people.

She is a lifelong resident of Thunder Bay. In 1997 she received her diploma in Law and Security from Confederation College. After graduation she started a job at the casino as a security officer and then moved to the surveillance department for the last 7 years of her career there. Being a mom of two very busy children she decided shift work wasn’t for her. This is when she found her position at the clinic.